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Limericks

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Or you can click the Contact Us link on our website. That's waitwait.npr.org. Also, check out the WAIT WAIT quiz for our smart speaker. Bill and I ask you questions about the week's news whenever you desire. Just think of us as really lame genies.

NEGIN FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

HEATHER: Hi, I'm Heather. I'm calling from Philadelphia.

SAGAL: Hey, Heather.

MO ROCCA: Hey, Heather.

SAGAL: How are things in Philly?

HEATHER: Things are all right.

SAGAL: What do you do there?

HEATHER: I teach high school English.

SAGAL: Oh, my goodness. You're an English teacher. Have you changed your reading list in just response to everything that's going on?

HEATHER: Yeah. I mean, we are sometimes reading about current events. But it's very hard to keep up (laughter).

SAGAL: Oh, really? I have no idea about that.

HEATHER: (Laughter) Yeah, I'm glad you can understand.

SAGAL: I do. I have some sympathy for you. Well, Heather, welcome to the show. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly on two limericks, you'll be a winner. You ready to play?

HEATHER: Yes.

SAGAL: All right. Let's hear your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS: This dairy has no guarantees. All these wheels must be turned by degrees. But when COVID got hot, we simply forgot and we now have a new kind of...

HEATHER: Cheese?

SAGAL: Yes, cheese.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: We can finally thank COVID for something, new cheese. Earlier this year, French cheesemakers had so much unsold Muenster in their hands, they did what no one else on lockdown was capable of doing. They just left some cheese untouched in the fridge. And voila. It became a whole new cheese. Since the secret was just letting it get old without it doing anything, it's a Muenster spinster. The cheese is notable because it is actually rare to have a new cheese variety. In normal times, cheesemakers have lots of orders with a high storage turnover, little time to innovate. Why do you think it took so long for Doritos to come out with Cooler Ranch?

ROCCA: So it's a - so Muenster morphed into a new cheese?

SAGAL: Yeah. Basically, it's like, oh, it's a new cheese. You know, because, especially in France, cheeses are made in a very particular way that have been established for centuries. So you don't just make a new cheese. You don't just see what happens. You got to do it the right way. But, apparently, they had so much cheese sitting around, they let it age more than they normally do. And it turned into a new cheese.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Was this a happy accident or a bad cheese?

SAGAL: I have not myself tasted it. But I'm guessing because it is a French cheese, it is very good. All right, Heather. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: This planet's the place of our birth. But we value it more than it's worth. There are planets and suns far more safe and more fun. There are homes out there better than...

HEATHER: Earth?

SAGAL: Earth, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Scientists have discovered dozens of planets that offer greater conditions for life than Earth. They're warmer than ours. They're bigger, more fertile and have continents that are way easier to draw. Scientists have identified 24 planets they're calling, quote, "super habitable," which is what coronavirus said when it saw Stephen Miller. So there are two...

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Dozen perfect planets out there. Bet you we can burn through at least 10 of them in the next year or so. Fortunately for the planets, they are 100 light years away from us minimum. A light year, of course, is a massive measurement of time and space equivalent to one October 2020.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The interesting thing is, of course, that scientists have discovered many, many what they call exoplanets that seem theoretically to be capable of life. But they've discovered no life, which clearly means that there is intelligent life. They're intelligent because they're hiding from us.

FARSAD: Or they're just like, let's blow this joint. This place is dead, you know? And they're just going to another party.

SAGAL: (Laughter) I just imagine on Mars, as the Curiosity Rover just slowly moves and turns around, all these Martians are like staying behind it. Quick, quick - keep moving. Keep moving. Don't get in front of the camera.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: Walla Walla (ph) - our bulbs are too stun-ion. With the sensors, we've just had a run-ion. in. The inquisitors found we're too shiny, too round. So now Facebook is banning our...

HEATHER: Onion.

SAGAL: Yes, onions.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

KURTIS: You are really good.

SAGAL: Facebook took down an ad from a Canadian seed company after determining that its photo of a basket of onions was too sexy. The picture showed seven sweet onions in a basket. And it was flagged as, quote, "overtly sexual," which is yet another reason to avoid the salad bar at Facebook headquarters. The Walla Walla Sweet Onions Company picture, which, to be fair, is what you would call a produce-themed strip bar - oh, let's go down to the Walla Walla Sweet Onions - probably automatically triggered Facebook censorship protocols. Facebook has yet to respond to the ban, probably because they're trying to figure out who let Kyle the onion pervert work the censorship desk again.

ROCCA: What is sexy about the picture of the onion?

ROBERTS: They are too beautiful, round, luscious onions...

SAGAL: Firm, perky.

ROBERTS: ...Sitting right next to each other.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Bill, how did Heather do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Heather did great. She got them all right. She's a big winner.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

KURTIS: Three in a row.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Heather.

HEATHER: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Take care.

HEATHER: You, too. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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